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India's GlaxoSmithKline Pharma's pre-tax profit falls on govt pricing caps

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India's GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd reported an 8.6% fall in its pre-tax profit for the fourth quarter on Wednesday, hurt by the government's curbs on pricing of some essential medicines.

Consolidated profit before tax dropped to 1.90 billion rupees ($23.23 million) for the quarter ended March 31, from 2.08 billion rupees a year earlier, the Indian unit of UK's GSK Plc said in an exchange filing.

Revenue from operations at the maker of Augmentin antibiotic and T-Bact ointment fell 2.7% to 7.87 billion rupees.

"A robust underlying volume growth was offset by the impact of National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2022," the company said.

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GlaxoSmithKline's Ceftum and T-Bact, used to treat bacterial infections, were included in the NLEM list, which mandates those medicines to be sold below a price ceiling set by a government pricing body.

In March, the company said the revenue share of drugs impacted by the pricing cap was at 42% so far in 2023, up from 33% in 2022.

The company plans to mitigate the impact of the price caps by boosting sales volumes of its Ceftum, T-Bact and Augmentin.

Separately, the company recommended a dividend of 32 rupees per share.

Shares of the drugmaker closed 0.43% higher before the results, compared with a 0.45% fall in the benchmark Nifty Pharma index.

($1 = 81.7800 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Kashish Tandon, Chris Thomas and Manvi Pant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)